Tips – October 2017

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on the first one…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology

If something else is interesting to you, put a “tip” here as you like.

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is:

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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112 Responses to Tips – October 2017

  1. philjourdan says:

    Goodell finally opens his yap –

    Talk about impotent. We need 31 more Jerry Jones before the fans come back.

  2. David A says:

    It appears simple to me. The NFL should simply say no political protest or statements on our patrons dime. Protest all you want away from work on your own time.

  3. jim2 says:

    “How can a large number of Glock semi-automatic pistols…end up in Australia? That’s the wake up call.” Criminal Intelligence Officer

    While the smugglers were stopped, the majority of the weapons they brought in have never been recovered, leaving them in the hands of criminals or even would be terrorists.

    “Think of how much crime that gun could be connected to in a hundred years. Times that by hundreds of handguns. Its staggering to think what sort of problem that could be faced by law enforcement.” Detective, Organised Crime Squad

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Time line for super volcano eruptions appears to be shorter than previously believed. Taking only a couple decades to go from quiet to ready to erupt.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    They were surprised by that? The magma pool just sits there hot and eroding the rock above it. Nothing much happens until part of the roof starts to fall in, then it goes “right quick” and once depressurization happens, the whole thing blows up in explosive decompression. I seem to remember being told in geology class that it was sudden and without warning… (Maybe 50 years ago they didn’t think they had any way to predict and it’s only the “new kids” since harmonic tremor was discovered who expected lead time and warnings…)

  6. David A says:

    E.M. has the smoke from the Napa fires affected you?

  7. Larry Ledwic k says:

    Another aspect of demographics and reproduction is destiny ?
    Has our change in lifestyle lead to a negative bias on reproduction of smart people?

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    Nature has a natural pressure against intelligence. It is VERY expensive in calories. Something like 25% in humans. Well, if you could cut your fuel consumption from 25% to 20% for that blob, you get a significant survival advantage when famine comes. It is only the advantages intelligence brings that lets a large brain survive against that negative pressure.

    Unfortunately, modern society has little pressure for big brains. In my experience, they are a positive hindrance. You “don’t fit in”, and keep noticing the lies of the leaders (thus get, um, pruned…). It isn’t a particular happy place to be either. (Reproductive success correlates happiness and unhappy people rarely get mates / kids as often.)

    So, absent a significant pressure to remove the idiots from the gene pool and enhance the reproductive success of the very smart, nature moves the population to more stoopid as that’s the ‘sweet spot’ for energy efficient maximum reproduction.

    This shows up dramatically in predator / prey species. Predators are Very Smart compared to prey (or they starve). The result? Predators have on or a few offspring once every year (or couple of years) while prey pump them out by the dozen on a ‘few times a year’ bases. Essentially, civilization makes a tribe of predators into a nation of prey animals. Being smart isn’t as valuable as being “cute but dumb” and having a lot of ‘unprotected’ sex.

    Nothing special about the British in that. Happens pretty much everywhere civilization takes over.

    @David A:

    Well, we sometimes smell a bit of smoke in the air. Like the neighbor running a fireplace. Local schools had an indoor play day due to “air pollution levels” from the smoke, but I think that was way overkill.

    It is basically 99% undetectable and 1% of the time smells like ‘middle of winter and someone has a fireplace lit’. Interesting in that we are at opposite ends of the SF Bay, so must have due South winds for a long ways.. so air masses coming out of Canada…

    FWIW, despite what the news is saying, this is substantially just a run of the mill “max fire month in fire season” in California. There have been worse years before. There will be worse in the future some day.

    So what makes this one “special”?

    LOTS more people and structures in “Wine Country”. 50 years ago it was mostly empty and / or grape fields. You could drive around on a weekend easily. About 20 years ago I tried a Sunday drive to wineries and gave up in the traffic jam… It’s worse now.

    Many folks built in the hills “up in the trees”. I.e. in the fire zone. Look for names like “ridge” and “hills” in the names of wineries and subdivisions that burned.

    It was windy when the fire(s) started. Luck of the draw in some ways. WHEN a fire happens and winds are strong, it spreads dramatically. In the past it was just acreage of scrub oak, now it’s subdivisions. (When fire happens with no wind, it doesn’t make the news as the local fire engine pisses on it and it’s over. Clearly wind without a fire also doesn’t make the news.)

    People have not learned to cut the fuel near the properties. They just love to “preserve” the old trees as they build on their new hillside lot. In many cases, regulations prevent cutting trees now. (I’d preserve an old oak too… so I’m not special… but I would build away from it.) Grasses are left planted, even when drought rules say to let it die from lack of water, so a nice fuel bed. (I’d plough it under in the country). Post drought, many folks left the grasses be. This gave a dead layer. Then the new rains last year caused a lot of growth, that they also let be, and dry all summer. Big fires come after wet years… Folks get out of the habit of making fire breaks and removing fuel.

    Standard California homes are “stick built”. Were I building in the hills, I’d have cinder block construction, tile roof, and metal shutters. (Many structures are lost due to radiant heating of the curtains inside the structure… causing POOF! ignition.) Some fairly simple changes of construction would save a lot of structures. We saw this in the Oakland Fire where stucco / tile roof structures with draperies that didn’t catch fire survived. Now add a “rustic” plain wood barn or outbuilding near your home and POOF! you have a big source of radiant heat and sparks… Folks need to build for fire, but don’t do it. Most of the fires here are low grass fires. There is zero reason for any structure to be lost to a low grass fire. Make them from masonry or with stucco coating and plant iceplant around them instead of grass. (Masonry is discouraged here due to earthquake risk, but put some rebar in it and spend a little extra…)

    Cuts to fire suppression budgets and “rules”. Last I looked, use of Borate was highly restricted due to worries it might contaminate water runoff. Well, just how much is wildlife effected by a firestorm, eh? Our Democrat lead government doesn’t really want folks living in the forest anyway, so why make it easy?… Similarly, our fire aircraft fleet is not what it was, and they don’t have as easy a time getting fire crews together. In the 1970s I worked a fire line at the Clear Lake Fire. I was recruited as a raw no-nothing on a Friday night and told to go home to pick up some boots, a coat, and be back in one hour for the bus. My training was being handed a Pulaski and told one end was an ax the other a hoe, and chop or dig as directed… I’m pretty sure they don’t toss together crews of hundreds that way anymore… too much liability and resistance from the unions who do it as a year round job.

    Well, you hobble the folks doing the job year round, and prevent the raising of large crews “on the fly” when things get bad, and guess what, the fires grow more before you get them put out.

    In short: It’s the usual mix of Just Plain Stupid with Kalifornia Institutional Stupid, seasoned with natural variation in wind and rain. Mix, shake, and ignite…

  9. Lionell Griffith says:

    EM: “Unfortunately, modern society has little pressure for big brains. In my experience, they are a positive hindrance. You “don’t fit in”, and keep noticing the lies of the leaders (thus get, um, pruned…).”

    What is so great about fitting in? I have never seen so much advantage to it. I am one of the few who is usually called on to save them when the project fails in the way I told them it would fail. It took me the better part of a decade to learn to wait until the managers are lined up against the wall and nails are being pounded in their hands. At which time, I make a deal to “save the day”, do it, and get a large pay check. Then I wait until the next time.

    Yes it gets lonely at times, but being in the 99th percentile, there are few fellow travelers of compatible character. I have found some I cherished highly.

    I long ago dismissed the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life. The real challenge is finding intelligent life here on earth. This is why I much prefer the stopping feeding them approach to cleaning the political gene pool. That way they get to go to hell and pay for the trip themselves rather than my going along and paying for everything.

  10. Larry Ledwic k says:

    On twitter seeing reports of a major internet attack on multiple providers in progress.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, I’m generally quite comfortable with “not fitting in”. The problem is that tends to limit the reach of one’s genes, and Darwinian Fitness is only measured one way…

    So I have 2 kids with my relatively intelligent spouse. Her twin (also bright) has one. Of them, the two daughters have expressed no interest in having kids. Both are honors college graduates. So far, collectively, there is one grandchild, perhaps 2 eventually.

    Now compare their “case load” parents at work. (Both are special ed specialists). Often the parents are as “challenged” as the kids. More often than not, the parents have a “brood”. One “Mom” has 3 kids by 3 different dads and has another on the way. Her (eventual 4 or 5 ) will likely also have 4 or 5. That’s about 20. Vs our collective 2.

    So in one swoop, the average IQ will have gone from about 100 to about 80. (Given what I know of folks numbers).

    Now, if just one of my two grand-kids decide to marry a “cute but not bright”, their kids will not have the high numbers mine have and the average drops even more. Once at about a 5% of population, minority gene groups tend to disappear, so shortly after that the mob genetics will be circling 80 without as many outliers to the upside…

    Unfortunately, mating and children is a “fitting in” game. I have thousands of hours of party and bar experience to prove it 8-(

    From the article Larry pointed at:

    Some believe the Flynn effect has masked a decline in the genetic basis for intelligence, so that while more people have been reaching their full potential, that potential itself has been declining.

    Some have even contentiously said this could be because educated people are deciding to have fewer children, so that subsequent generations are largely made up of less intelligent people.

    To which I can only say “Bingo!”. College educated women have far fewer kids. Since we now send every woman who can qualify to college, we are rapidly removing intelligence genes from the gene pool.

    The Flip Side is that the Village Idiots On The Dole have nothing else to do but have kids, often many more than those paying the bills.

    To Those Who Would Cry Bigot: I have great sympathy for folks ‘with problems’ who need a little help. I’m not saying this about folks on the dole from spite. It is only a simple observation of the facts. Spouse comes home and talks about work. The pattern is usually the same. Some impaired parent with a gaggle of impaired kids getting assistance. Similarly, the effect of education on fecundity is a well established fact. No, I have no idea how to humanely “fix it”. I can only note in passing how cruel and unfair is nature and the laws of genetics.

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, I’m not seeing any problems. My “blinky lights” only blink when I send traffic, so nobody is knocking on my door. WordPress seems fine. My TV (via internet from several sources) is fine.

    Now I don’t use a lot of the “trendy” stuff (LinkedIn, Twitter, Google as much as possible, Faceplant, er FaceBook, etc.) so maybe it’s targeted at folks who are “not me” like?

    I’ll just have to wait and see how it develops.

  13. Lionell Griffith says:

    EM: “The problem is that tends to limit the reach of one’s genes, and Darwinian Fitness is only measured one way…”

    I am not sure that is the whole story or even an important part of the story. I think it depends as much or perhaps more on what you do with what you have. There are many with apparent high potential who fail to realize it. There are also many without apparent high potential who are called “over achievers”. Meaning they accomplish much more than their apparent potential would seem to allow. Obviously, if they could achieve it, they were capable of achieving it no matter what the original assessment of the potential happened to be.

    There are ways to increase ones ability to solve problems with ever greater complexity and difficulty. Having a high quality basic equipment is good but I think that is more of a speed component than it is a driver of final quality of result. I am suggesting the quality of mental programming, self discipline, and effort impacts ability and performance by orders of magnitude while genetics is more of a single digit multiplier.

    As for the general drifting lower of IQ or however you wish to measure it, the average tendency is a drift to the center and not a race to the bottom. The problem with such measures there is a strong component of nurture, nature, and environment that produces the spread. Only part of that complex is directly impacted by genetics. In the final analysis, the individual can have a strong impact upon his ability to perform and to deliver the goods. The basic machinery can help or hinder but that is about all the impact it has.

    PS: My wife and I have one daughter who produce two bright grand children. One is a highly motivated budding techie in whom I see a lot of me and the other wants go into law enforcement and is not as motivated but is willing to work. Same mother, different fathers and different nurturing environment. They are individuals and what they will become depends upon them. My success is mine. Their success will be theirs. No matter what Darwin has to say about it.

  14. John F. Hultquist says:

    E.M. says “plant iceplant around them instead of grass.”

    People plant Arborvitaes close to houses, even within a foot and thus under the soffit. A grown one is green on the outside and brown on the inside. Sometimes they die, too. Link

    We live “on the dry side” of Washington State. There is a big push here to be Firewise — meetings, educational material, and sometimes help in clearing and chipping.
    Here is a good presentation:
    The actual presentations usually take 2 hours (with Q & A).

    Went through CA Wine Country on Sept 1, 1970 (or 1969), drove all over, few people, had a great time. Italian Swiss Colony learned it was wife’s birthday. We got extra special treatment.
    Now we drink wine from the Columbia Valley, WA State.

  15. Larry Ledwick says:

    I suspect the genetic drift (and social drift) of functional intelligence (rather that potential intelligence) will follow a saw tooth pattern. Those who are “fit enough” and prone to breeding will over time gradually dominate the population pool, then when some major challenge develops those poorly equipped to survive (both by genetic intelligence potential and training education will dominate those who survive.

    Large population losses trigger an innate urge to breed so the survivors will be programmed for a breeding for a few generation cycles then gradually when things become too comfortable and too easy where intelligence and training are relatively unimportant survival factors the cycle will repeat.

    The great depression WWI and WWII culled the herd of those with poor skills and ability and encouraged re-population breeding for a few generations. Once we went in the 1970’s and beyond there was little advantage to being really smart for survival. It was good for wealth building but did not much impact survival or fitness to breed.

    A lot of those inner city thugs are pretty bright (at least the ones who survive the street wars) so for them the most important survival traits are being quick (mentally and physically), strong, tough, and ruthless etc. A much different set of skills than those prized by 1950’s suburban society that populated the baby boom and pushed for everyone to become a well off white collar professional.

    As always, the SAID principle is king – (Specific Adaption to Imposed Demands). Modern society is not very demanding, so the resulting adaption needed to survive is actually below the general population’s current skill levels.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting vast collection of links to climate and weather data and images from all over:

    I’ve only given it a quick look but what is there is a very nice set. Includes some quake stuff too.

  17. Another Ian says:


    You won’t be suprised

    and link

    Don’t IT people read things like “The Cuckoo’s Egg”? Stoll was complaining about passwords like that and unchanged/renewed in that book from a long time ago

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    It has crossed my mind that some of these breaches are so brain dead that they might be intentional honeypots dangled to pass flawed data to adversaries or track the data flow to its ultimate destination. The business of counter intelligence is called “A wilderness of Mirrors” for a reason.

    They can’t all be that stupid? (he said hopefully)!

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian & Larry:

    I’ve told some of this story before. Here’s the comment I’m posting at SDA:

    While running network security for Apple some decades back, we detected an attacker on our “Honeypot” (a semi-secure machine with nothing of real importance on it that LOOKS delicious, but is really an early alarm system). We were logging everything he did, examining his warz (tools) and methods. Eventually he figured out he could not get into the real network, and just “bounced off our router” to somewhere else.

    We monitored that redirected attack. It was to a military site in Hawaii. “My guy” got into their router (that the “bad guy” was already in…) and fished out their contact information. We called them up on the phone. “Hey, this is Apple. You are under attack right now from what we think is a Russian style hack on your router “FOO”. He’s bouncing off us, and we’re about to call the F.B.I. Would you like to take action and / or be on the call?”

    Their response?

    “How did you get this number?!”…

    They then tried to talk us out of telling anyone. See, their military site was NOT supposed to be connected to the internet. They had set up that connection so they could get to all the internet goodies and now were afraid that being caught at it they were in trouble. Key Point? They had ZERO concern about the fact a potential Russian agent was on their router and in their shop.

    The router contact information points to the SysAdmin in charge of the tech. So this was the guy who ought to be most concerned with it being compromised. Instead he was most concerned with hiding the clandestine internet spigot.

    We told them they had 1/2 day before we were calling the F.B.I.

    Then they hung up.

    So, does nobody care about security? Well, yes, lots of us do. The problem is that medium sized contingent of folks who don’t care or are not “good enough” to do it well. My main network security guy then was pulling down 6 figures. Most executives resent that, and want the $30,000 guy from India or the “noob” USA guy for $50,000. You want to have zero folks crack your site? It isn’t cheap. Or easy.

    Fast, Good, Cheap – pick any TWO.

    For security to work, it must be fast and good. Folks who choose cheap get slow (too late) and poor.

    BTW, then, the F.B.I. told us “The guy who handles that is on vacation. Can he call you back in 2 weeks?” This to an active “Breach in progress” to a military site…

    Instead we just cut the guy’s connection through us (a little bit of counter attack and slam the doors on his toes). A few weeks later we “informed” Mr. FBI that he was a day late and it was all over but he ought to call this number in Hawaii…

    They are faster now, but now is decades later and the whole game has gotten faster. Now you need an active IDS / IPS system to automate the whole counter. Intrusion Detection System / Intrusion Prevention System. So a “clueful” network guy setting up your boundary router / firewalls, a clueful SysAdmin setting up your system security, a clueful security team doing internal “Tigre Team Attacks” and running regression testing security sweeps / patch audits, and that automated IDS/IPS box for when folks are in the bathroom or called into mandatory HR nag meetings… All up about $100,000 of equipment and annual salary of about $300,000 at the low end. Turns out “Upper Management” doesn’t like that. So you get outsourced to India and “shit happens”. You get what you pay for.

    BTW, I worked at Disney doing security work of just that type. Just at the end of my contract, they laid off the employee staff and outsourced their jobs overseas… After a blow up in the press, some of the folks were kept on staff. As some staff had been forced to train their replacements, the lawsuit is still in the works last I looked. Violation of H1B Visa and other issues. Now Disney had GREAT network security. I can’t talk about details, but they did everything right. So why break what is working well? New V.P. was hired and that means things must be changed to justify the bonuses…

    Hopefully this look behind the scenes helps clarify the reality of Security SysAmin work.

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, they can be that stupid.

    Yes, it can be a honeypot.

    Yes, it is a hall of mirrors.

    Our Presumed Russian Guy (USSR days) had all the “Turn the playbook page” pedantic Russian style kit of the day. Just plodding along looking for “the usual suspects” of weaknesses. (Now this is all scripted and we’d call it a Script Kiddie Attack). He got into our honeypot as it was designed to be “breakable but not easy”. We wanted folks to think it was “the real deal” so it had to have some challenge in it. Couple of mirrors there ;-)

    We’d also buggered every single navigation and inspection command and had a unique way to become root. If you did not become root by our secret sauce, you didn’t leave the magic token in the magic token box. Then any “ls, cd, cat,” etc. command would look at your UID, see root (0) and check the cookie box. No cookie? START SILENT ALARM AND LOGGING… Essentially, the box was open to any employee or the family and trusted friends as a place for email and netnews, but nothing else. It also had files and directories with interesting names and big encrypted contents. (One many MB file contained blanks and the phrase: “Congratulations! You know no the decryption key is FOO!”) We even had custom cut shells for the logins of “Jobs”, “Woz”, and “Steve”. These were under constant attack. When folks attempted to log in to those, it just launched a “Go away and come back when you have some skilz” message then dropped their link. It was just kids and we didn’t care about them…

    So yes, it could be a honeypot.

    There was a lot more interesting stuff on the box, but you get the idea. I would be always logged onto it when at work, with a set of windows open showing activity on the machine and who was logged in. There were several other staff also with “eyes on” when at their desks (or even from home if interested). It is safe to say it was the most monitored box we had. (There were then 2 more levels of isolation before you got to the Cray and even then the Cray had “chroot” dividing it so the really secret stuff was one more layer back… Nobody every got through the layer between the honeypot and the 1st inside layer… Not even the Internet Worm. It buggered the honeypot, but didn’t get inside before we shut everything down while figuring out what was killing the world…)

    And, as evidenced by the “draftee” in Hawaii, they can be that stupid. Now I don’t know the guy was drafted and given that it was about a decade after the draft was ended, I really only use the term to point out the mind-set. Doesn’t really care. Doesn’t really want to be there. Rules only matter if you get caught. Want-to-play outweighs do-my-duty. Semi-clueless on real security.

    So did N. Korea get the real plans, or a clever plant? My money is on real plans. It could be a C.I.A. run op, but I doubt it. They don’t usually play the “bait and long wait” game. NSA is full of extremely good folks, but they have traditionally only done gathering, not covert planting. Still, it’s inside their skill set to pull it off. Yet the public description is of an decapitation strike with prepared forces for the response. Just what I’d propose were I the guy planning the take-down. So maybe that’s a ‘misdirection’ in the details, but…

    What I don’t know is the degree to which our military has actually built a decent counter-hacker team with the assignment of cyberwarfare. Stopped paying attention many years back about the time they were talking about the startup of one. IFF they have a good team like that, then it is much more likely a honeypot.

    There are times I miss the excitement of the hunt… Then there are times I’m just dead tired of all the crap I have to do to keep things safe and working with nobody ever giving a damn but me. Nobody ever thanks you for keeping electricity in the sockets nor for keeping bad guys out. All they ever do is complain if you fail and ask why you cost so much when you succeed.

  21. A C Osborn says:

    E.M.Smith says: 13 October 2017 at 4:38 am
    Interesting vast collection of links to climate and weather data and images from all over:

    Another one is here

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Julian Jones:

    The problem with that smear is simple: Trump is very smart.

    Now that is just a fact.

    What I find fascinating is the nearly universal tendency for mediocre folks to assert someone is stupid or a moron when they do not agree with their positions or decisions. It is slmost never the case. Typically, the difference lies in the input data, the weighting of things (preferences in outcomes or probability guesses of events), or preconceptions of world view (free market values vs communism for example). Sometimes differences in life experiences have taught lessons one may be lacking ( combat experience makes better leaders who understand both the costs and benefits of conflict better). For folks graduated from college, substantially none are morons, though many are misinformed.

    So such snideitude (that The Guardian loves) is lost on me. I just see petty vindictive people pissing into the wind and complaining about the smell…

  23. jim2 says:

    EM said: “For folks graduated from college, substantially none are morons, though many are misinformed.”

    I just read Hillary is angling for a professorship. That’ll improve the quality of education.

  24. Julian Jones says:

    EM : The Guardian opinion piece above is indeed typical snideitude from this newspaper.

    But the correspondent who pointed out the Mencken quote, well known to me, hardly mediocre and strongly pro-USA all his life – working at the highest levels of academia and commerce.

    So you are wholly wrong in that part of your response – as to your personal assessment of Trump, I am sure most will hope you are correct, and that he is deploying a masterful strategy here. It just doesn’t look that way.

    But the original assertion that Trump is a moron was attributed to your own Rex Tillerson and not fully denied to my knowledge.

    I assume you wish to hear how others perceive USA ?

  25. cdquarles says:

    Julian, your assertion of Tillerson being the source of the “Trump is a moron” statement is incorrect. Do not believe anything reported in the media, especially the state controlled “MSM” of the West. Check it yourself and yes, it has been forcefully refuted. That’s what the “Lets take an IQ test and see” was about.

  26. Julian Jones says:

    cdquarles : Thank you, certainly agree not much can be trusted in our fake news media. I think the point I was clumsily trying to make is the poor impression that Trump makes, which to the less informed (regardless of the veracity of Tillerson’s comments or otherwise) – which many of us in Europe no doubt are – gives us grave concerns. No doubt due to our ignorance.

    Cannot find any convincing Tillerson refutations – please link ?

    It really does all seem like ‘Idiocracy’ has come true :

  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    The thing you need to keep in mind about Trump is how he handles the media. He knows that in order to survive they have to chase stories which will drive clicks and views. He also has the experience from his private businesses to know that is much better if you provide the rabbits for them to chase than to let them beat the bushes to flush out their own rabbits.

    More importantly he does not give a crap what they say (in the sense that he does not let their coverage drive his policies).

    The net result is that he throws out a constant diet of irresistible rabbits for them to chase. They simply cannot “not report” on those rabbits and then when they get to maximum snark he pulls the rug out from under them by revealing that what they asserted was true was never true in the first place. He is in the middle of a planned effort to help them destroy their own credibility.

    Meanwhile like a good magician with the other hand he is quietly getting things done like putting lots of quality judges into the court system. He knows you need to build a building from the ground up and is doing all that unspectacular forms and concrete footings work that will be needed later to support his final goal.

    Personally I think he is engaged in a timing game where just before the mid-term elections he will roll out the things that will help quality candidates unseat the obstructionist members of the House and Senate, or at least give them a might good scare to get them to jump on board his train and support his agenda.

    (By the way he also could care less what public opinion is in Europe, because Europe is not a constituent of his)

    Right now he is pulling all the nails out of the scaffolding that props up the Affordable Care Act and it will soon come apart at the seams as the subsidies which have kept some of its operations afloat go away.

    Likewise he is with the help of Congress, pulling the rug out from under other Obama Era programs like the huge subsidies for questionable energy projects like Solendra.

    His economic growth numbers and other economic indicators are already significantly better than anything Obama could do in 8 years in office. Those pocket book issues will close the deal during the mid-terms.

    At least that is my take on it.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @Julian Jones:

    I spoke in general about the way most people act. You claim personal insight to the author of a sniditude shows that general truth wrong. I see a non sequitur. I don’t care what the guy does elsewhen, his piece is trash and he falls into the generality in it. (That being he attributed poor mental function to disagreement. A broad and generic fault.)

    Per wanting to hear what others think of America:

    I really don’t care.

    Not seeking it out. Not pushing it away. It’s like what coffe someone else likes: I’m indifferent.


    Because what someone else chooses to think is there own business and their own problem. In most cases, it is faulty anyway. By definition most people are average or below, only a minority above average. Of those above average thinkers, most are hobbled by education as indoctrination and stunted critical faculties. Very very few work to keep a tidy mind and most are filled with lots of trash, especially on political economy topics and anything with “social” in the title. This is far worse in Europe than the USA but we are catching up…

    So pretty much 95%+ of the time what some random writer thinks about America is biased, based on errors of fact, perception, and logic. For Europens that runs up closer to 99%+… IMHO.

    Given that, I tire of admiring the many ways they can be stupidly wrong. I have better things to do with my time.

    Oh, and on a personal note:

    Early in life I figured out the “popularity contest” game to push folks to social conformity, and how that lead to many ills. From cults to “carismatic” dictators to manipultive movements (cough Algore) and more. As someone who can never be “normal” I accepted early on that folks would be offended by my being smarter than them and much more right. I know I will never be the popular one as I speak truth even when it hurts. So even at the personal level, I don’t care if people like me or not, nor what they think of me. That’s their problem, not mine.

    Frustrates the hell out of social gamers & SJWs et. al. when the try the embarrass and shame crap on me, trying to steer my behaviour or beliefs. There is great liberty in being a finished person comfortable in your own skin. Similarly, awards are more about them than me. Pleasant to get, but not steering me. More just saying they noticed, so have some clue.

    So, like Mr. Butler: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.

    But if it makes you feel better to post what other people think (or more often “feel”) about America, go right ahead. It says more about you than America.

  29. cdquarles says:

    Julian, I can’t find any links that SoS Tillerson said “Trump is a moron”, though I can find links reporting that he said it.

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm this is interesting!
    From twitter – seems Julian Assange is into using twitter for numbers codes.
    With 17 groups with highest character being F implies Hex encoding.

    Julian Assange 🔹‏ @JulianAssange 11 minutes ago

    4767 5774 6a7a 4d6c 6330 666b 314a 3453 0000 0907 84b4 f787 7616 86f7 a737 5707 5736

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    The gateway pundit is asserting that this is an encryption key, perhaps to a data dump someone already has [my assumption] to unlock the data.

    This will be interesting to watch.

  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    Tulip mania and associated speculation is not what the myths tell us. It did happen but not to the extent implied by all the stories.

    A myth buster for the Tulip mania story.

  33. Jeff says:

    @Larry, I wonder whatever happened to the ClimateGate3 zipped file(s)?

    And who silenced the release of them….. Trillions of dollars at stake there…..

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting item here on a neutron star merge event spotted by gravitational wave early enough for the event to be viewed by optical telescope.

    The part that caught my eye is that the gravitational wave was detected 2 seconds before satellites detected the gamma ray burst.

    Two second difference in arrival time over 130 million light years?
    Was that delay due to instrumental processing or did the gravitational wave actually precede the gamma ray burst?

    If the delay is in actual arrival time is that due to the gravitational wave traveling faster than the gamma rays or did it take 2 seconds for the neutron star merger to transition from the part of the process that generated the gravitational wave to the part of the process that generated the gamma ray burst?

    I guess if nothing else, this proves gravitational waves are both detectable (from real observable events) and useful in astronomy.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have no info on the ClimateGate3 files and what became of them – good question.

  36. Another Ian says:


    You’ll probably chuckle

    “Microsoft is Not My Friend Today”

    And comments

  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    China is beginning to feel the bite of anti-pollution costs now that their pollution levels have forced them into modern world emissions controls. In time this will blunt their low cost advantage in the market place.

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    Microsoft discovered a breach of their bug tracking data base in 2013 and quietly locked it down with air gap and two factor authentication. Good job of staying up with technology MS!

  39. philjourdan says:

    Given that, I tire of admiring the many ways they can be stupidly wrong. I have better things to do with my time.

    That is a symptom of wisdom. I once cared, but no longer do. For the most part, I ignore Hollywood celebrities as I know their sole talent is in the ability to lie. And that does not take intelligence.

    I do laugh at those who consistently underestimate Trump (like our own gadfly Serioso). With every prognostication that is proven wrong, they merely demonstrate the paucity of their intelligence and in the recognition that they do not know it all, even though they do believe it.

    Life is too short to worry about what idiots think. And that goes doubly for idiots outside the country.

  40. Larry Ledwick says:

    Keeping in mind this is a sales pitch for a nutrition product, some interesting (rabbits) info in here to chase.

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting item on dyslexia and a possible physiological basis for it (and perhaps treatment)

  42. E.M.Smith says:


    17 Groups? Digital Haiku?

    Online Hex to Other converter only looks sensible for digital.

    Hex to ascii has embedded non-printables.
    Hex to Binary:

    01000111 01100111 01010111 01110100 01101010 01111010 01001101 01101100 01100011 00110000 01100110 01101011 00110001 01001010 00110100 01010011 00000000 00000000 00001001 00000111 10000100 10110100 11110111 10000111 01110110 00010110 10000110 11110111 10100111 00110111 01010111 00000111 01010111 00110110

    Unenlightening. Though a bit odd that the next to last line last symbol and the next 5 all end in 0111, with lead bits that have a pseudo pattern (i.e. brain making one up). The zero in the middle is intriguing as it’s indicating not a character string of letters.

    Hex to Decimal:

    18279 22388 27258 19820 25392 26219 12618 13395 0 2311 33972 63367 30230 34551 42807 22279 22326

    Hex to base64 nothing much:


    Hex to Rot13 also gives some non-printables.

    IMHO, it’ s most likely either a public key or a private decryption key. First and last half short of zeros, divided in the middle by a zero rich run. 68 hex digits, so ought to have 4.25 of each char on average. But has 15 “7”s. Unusually high. (When choosing numbers “at random” folks tend to pick too many 7s and not enough ends…) No “2” or “e”… So not a purely distributed set (though to short to be proof of anything).

    Looks to me like a human chosen list of Hex Char as a key, that doesn’t directly translate into anything else. Could also easily be a set of CHAR that make up some human phrase, put through a mutation / rotation and then to Hex, so has a non-random nature that looks human, but isn’t directly picking the hex values (while still not being just a hex conversion of the ASCII text).

    I could see him doing it just to make Agencies around the world dance for a while. “Cheap Thrills” (hey, he’s been in confinement a long time and it makes folks a bit silly), or as a way to tell folks “Encrypt with this and send” without any direct connection to anyone. Wonder what it would look like as a 256 bit AES… not an even multiple of 256 bits, though.

    Well, without some reason to spend more brain time on it, I’m “letting it go”. (Anyone digging at it, remember most folks have gone to 16 bit Unicode characters lately with complex character sets, so it could be 68 CHAR of 16 bits Unicode each. Though:
    when asked to decode to unicode says no unicode detected, so may have a conversion in it. Hand inspection by someone keen on Unicode might be interesting, or a complete waste… (Most normal char unicode starts with 00 and this doesn’t so it’s a long shot to find some conversion. Perhaps taking it as 2 digit groups, prepending the /u00 and then doing a unicode decode… or not

    I’m going with a semi-random most likely hand done hex key for encryption or decryption depending on which way the file being shipped moves.

    The Gateway Pundit “news” is rampant speculation. One comment down at the bottom is interesting speculating it could be the digital signature (non-repudiation) for some docs sent to Wikileaks (i.e. could be ‘taunting’ that they have proof the docs are legit for something to be outed ‘soon’).

    Time will tell. Or not.


    I have copies of all the ClimateGate zipped files. Not all the decrypt keys though. THey are… somewhere… I’ve forgotten what archive I stuffed them in… it was just a snatch and stuff anyway, but they were not needed so I’ve not pulled them back out again. (For a while I had them on a Bittorrent service on the laptop that died, so maybe it’s in the archive set of that…)

    says the password was released, but also says:

    Climategate 3.0 has occurred – the password has been released
    Anthony Watts / March 13, 2013

    This post will be a top “sticky” post for some time, new essays will appear below this one. UPDATES as emails are noted, will appear below. – Anthony

    UPDATE8 3/19/13: Jeff Condon has received legal notice from UEA warning him not to release the password. So far, I have not seen any such notice. For those who demand it be released, take note. – Anthony

    A number of climate skeptic bloggers (myself included) have received this message yesterday. While I had planned to defer announcing this until a reasonable scan could be completed, some other bloggers have let the cat out of the bag. I provide this introductory email sent by “FOIA” without editing or comment. I do have one email, which I found quite humorous, which I will add at the end so that our friends know that this is valid. Update – the first email I posted apparently was part of an earlier release (though I had not seen it, there are a number of duplicates in the file) so I have added a second one.

    I’ll leave it for others to figure out how broadly the passwd was distributed later.

    Per Gravity Waves:

    Other than a multi-$BILLION curiosity, I’m not seeing the value… I’d rather the money had gone to something useful.

    @Another Ian:

    Microsoft is not my friend on ANY day. “Friends don’t let friends do Micro$oft”.

    Windows 10, because we couldn’t do Windows 9 as our software was so brain dead it assumed anything starting with a 9 was Windows 95…

    New, Improved!, Incomprehensively and capriciously changed user experience! Everything you know is now wrong (sign up for very expensive training and recertification classes now…)

    Oh, and didn’t bother to TELL anyone that their database of backdoors, hacks, exposures, and F-uped-ness was in the hands of Bad Guys for oh, about 1/2 a decade, all while trying to protect their own stuff with non-Microsoft security. ‘Cause nothing says “take me” like a Microsoft OS…


    Well said. Better than I did it…

    “Life is too short to drink bad wine, and ‘those folks’ are all piss and vinegar”…


    That’s why I love incandescent bulbs on dimmers. I laid in a “lifetime supply” while I could. Running them on dimmers makes for a very extended lifespan. Like 10 x extended if you stay just a bit away from full brightness at all times, and dimmer some times. They also have a nice blue deficient spectrum. So I run an LED in my office in the early morning (as sun comes in the window anyway) then shift to the IC bulb in the evening. Sleep better now.

    I used to be to “all hours’ most of the time. Now not so much. Per melatonin: I thought you could get a nice dose of it from a roast turkey?… via tryptophan conversion?… I know I’m prone to nodding off after turkey w/ dressing mashed potatoes and gravy… Why buy a bottle of ‘whatever’ when a nice roast will do? 9-)

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    Showed the dyslexia story to the spouse. She was very interested in it… Thanks.

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting thought on the dsylexia if it is a dominant eye problem, could an expedient fix like covering one eye solve the problem?

    Reading with an eye patch would be a quick and simple and cheap solution for people who battle with that problem.

    I have some issues with inability to see typos (like when comparing two computer commands).
    I might try closing one eye while proof reading that sort of thing to see if it makes a difference.
    I call it mild dsylexia, but might be some other obscure issue. but I can read over a command 2-3x and not notice two transposed characters even though I am looking for errors.

    I also am a terrible speller (autospell check) has dramatically improved my ability to spot errors, (and helped fix some long time habitual misspellings I was totally unaware were incorrect), but often I know the word is wrong but for the life of me have no clue what to do to fix it.
    I instantly recognize the correct spelling once I see it though.

    (interestingly enough I misspelled dyslexia in this comment as I wrote it as ( dsylexia ) and sat there staring at it and your word dyslexia in the comment above and could not see the difference that the s and y had been transposed for maybe 60 seconds. Probably slowly read the bad spelling 4 – 5 times before I noticed the error and why spell check was complaining)

  45. A C Osborn says:

    Larry, one of the things that helps some dyslexics is coloured lenses or sheets of acrylic.

  46. p.g.sharrow says:

    As someone that is also afflicted I would have to disagree with the study’s conclusion.
    More likely the rod/cone indication might be useful for diagnosis but it is a wiring problem. Signal to noise. My problem seems to be ether eye as well as both. You “see” in your brain, the eyes are just sensors. I see things that are not true as well as doubled a bit, ether eye. My brain “see’s what it expects rather then what is. The problems Larry describes are very familiar to me. Add to that similar problem with language to sound and sound to language. I just can’t do “see say” letter to sound conversion that is normally used to teach reading as well as a difficulty to convert thought to word…pg

  47. p.g.sharrow says:

    A note to Mrs.Smith; while in early grade school 1-3 I could not grasp reading aloud and doing spelling and arithmetic because of this problem of getting things wrong on paper while doing it correctly aloud. Teachers of the day, early 1950s, diagnosed lazy or willful behavior so thought punishment and more work would force improvements, In 4th grade a semi-retired teacher decided to try a different course and got a speed reading system for my use and a classmate went through a dictionary with me, pointing out and pronouncing each word. Wow, I got it! print to brain and no mental waste stumbling around pronouncing each word. I went from 1st grade to 6th grade reading comprehension in 1 year. I could consume a 300 page book in 90 minuets and retain the information. My spelling and math paperwork still sucks. Thank god for modern desk top computers and spellcheck…pg

  48. Jeff says:

    A colleague of mine, also afflicted, often said “Dyslexics Untie”…

    A similar problem exists for number recognition/ordering (not sure what it’s called). And when looking at issues my hearing-impaired son had with “ball-park estimates” and orders of magnitude, it appears that children who are hard-of-hearing from an early age (especially if it’s not recognized/corrected soon enough) have problems with grouping and estimating. No idea why….. Lego seemed to help some, as did extra work on numbers, etc.

  49. E.M.Smith says:


    I started out not seeing what made mirror images different. S and Z and 2 caused some issues in some type faces. P b d 9 rotations were another one. Eventually I realized what folks were using to denote differences.

    BUT, as a consequence, I often read things upside down, mirror imaged, posters on a store window from the ‘back side’ etc. and don’t really notice that it isn’t “normal” order. I can do all the rotations and mirrors automagically. To me they were all ‘the same’ as I was flipping and rotating. Then I learned that the context of the others sets a direction.

    Similarly, most folks know what word was typed as long as the first and last letters are right and all the other letters are there. This is why it’s hard to see dyslexia vs dsylexia. It’s all there, start and end right, ONE brain mapping matches. (Words where there’s a different map for each spelling have that significance flagged for most folks, others just have more spelling and diction errors…)

    For me, as long as most of the letters are there and enough of them are right, I ‘get it’. This makes my spelling horrid, but I can solve all sorts of letter puzzles very fast. Dirty up the character stream and I just keep reading…

    This tendency has gotten stronger with the deafness as now I correct various mis-heard words to the right thing with a very strong ECC overlay. “The sheep has con in” becomes “The ship has come in” in the context of the conversation about boats or the sea, or “the sheep has gone in” if on a sheep farm… Oddly, I don’t actually hear the original form. I hear the corrected translation. This was made clear when some of them were quite wrong and the person repeated the original ;-)

    This has reduced my skill at spoken foreign languages as I’ve got quite an ECC table for English, but the other languages have not kept up due to lack of use / experience. So often I can read Spanish or French fine, but the spoken form is a jumble now (depending on speaker and words used). Oh Well.

    So no worries about the whole spelling thing. Heck, it’s only been around a couple of hundred years. Pretty much prior to that it was “spell as it sounds to you” and anything goes. I’m still good with that as I read lots of olde stuff. Also, thanks to too many languages studied, keeping track of which one spells it which way gets tedious.

    Apartment, appartement, appartemant, apartemente, yeah, whatever… it’s a set of rooms…


    Yeah, visual correction too… Thanks to an ersatz radial keratatomy one of my corneas has two different curvatures (more particles hit one spot than another). So I see a shadow image of things on that eye. Yet the brain erases them. Either eye alone sees OK but ‘has minor issues’ with one having the shadow image (light double). Yet normally all I see is a nice clean image. One now focuses closer and the other farther, so which image gets tossed varies with distance. Now realize all that processing “just happens” and I don’t notice it until I close one eye.

    Now fast forward to the Florida Driver License Test. Fancy eye gadget feeds images to both eyes or each one separately BUT leaves a bright white screen on the unused eye. I pass the both eyes easy. I pass the distance / no shadow eye easy. Other eye gets selected and all I’m seeing is bright white screen. NOTHING is being shown to me. ZERO text. After being prompted to read it twice, I’m thinking “Oh Shit! What?” so try closing one eye then the other. BINGO! Suddenly I’m seeing a line of text. I passed.

    I’m pretty sure what happened was that the full white on the non-shadow eye was saying “Nothing to see here” and the bits of squiggles on the other eye were then ‘erased’ as noise. Remove the full white, then the brain said, OK, I’ll do that faint shadow / double erasure and give you some char to read…

    Very spooky effect. But now I know to watch for it during eye tests. (In the real world, I never have such a strong lie presented to one eye compared to the other so the brain never needed to choose / correct that.)

    Oh, and I, too, got a speed reading book and picked up the knack of just seeing the words. Very helpful. Oddly, I now use the printed letters to remind me what the sounds ought to be. To not lose the soft sibilant sounds or the aspirants. But in reading fast I’ll “hear” kind of a deaf accent as I’m leaving out lots of sounds… or sometimes all of them. ( I don’t read the word “EXIT” on signs any more. Just see it and know… there’s a lot of others like that… “HIGH VOLTAGE” registers, then an echo of the words follows later…)

    I’ll share your note with the spouse. She is from the patience and understanding POV. She gets kids after the regular teacher gives up or someone notices a problem. Likely due to lots of folks “like us” where the system was not a benefit, the law now requires a specialist evaluation for all sorts of learning “issues”. There’s also lots of specific tests to sort out mechanical vs processing vs ability vs … issues. Then a plan is made to figure out how to provide accommodation skills for each student. MUCH better than before. She often gets kids back to grade level in a year or three just by finding the actual cause and best alternative learning device / method.

    FWIW, I was just bored silly so in my case it WAS just lazy and willful behavior. Though punishment didn’t work on me either ;-) I did develop great coping skills and a strong ability to imagine (and mentally be ‘somewhere else’ for hours on end ;-) I can shut down and lock out just about anything… or anyone…

    Oh, final note: In 1st grade I was trying to learn the “see and say” crap. The “sound out the letters”. Now I’d already learned to “read” several of my kiddie books via memorizing what words went with which page and had started to connect some words with some objects. In class, we were doing this whole sound the letters thing and then hit the word “THE”. Ta-Heee doesn’t cut it. Then I realized the overall shape of the thing was the word “the”. Penny dropped! I started “sight reading” just about everything, and only resorted to the ‘sound it out’ to get clues on new unknown words – as a way to boot them into memory. It is my opinion that for most folks they really do sight reading and it’s a direct map of first/last and “enough letters to index” that happens. For some words with overall shape included. (i.e. spuds vs suds is missing a down dangle…)

    I suspect an improved reading system could be built out of that. It is likely the Chinese writing system takes advantage of that (as would hieroglyphics) where the shape is the meaning is the sound. About the only one I know is “gate” or “door”. It looks like a set of western saloon doors hanging on hinges (in abstract line form). Once you see it, it’s obvious. All other similar words use that same basic icon with additions for anything with gate or door-ness. Since there are something like 9 different Chinese languages with different sound systems all using the same icons, they can share writing but all pronounce it differently… Some other languages use some Chinese char as well, like Japanese. I’ve occasionally thought it might be interesting to map a core set of English words to the Chinese characters and try writing English in that script, just as a test. Then see if I could read “pidgin English” from actual Chinese kids books…

    At any rate, visual encoding is fast and easy and sight reading works best once you know what the words are.

  50. pouncer says:

    Have you seen the thing about the EM-pulse drive and proposals to reshape the cone or nozzle of the “engine” ?

    How odd that Star Trek in the 1960’s referred to an “impulse” drive…

  51. p.g.sharrow says:

    @pouncer; it is not really the shape of the device that creates the movement, Forget the concept of thrust. That is Roman candle technology. This movement is warpage that is caused by EMF.. Voltage, current and frequency is what is in play here. They will need to jack up the voltage spike to 40,000 to 60,000 volts to see real movement.
    Mass/inertia and gravity are the result of atomic dielectric centering forces…static charges generated by Proton/electron interface. Star-trek impulse drive could be a discription.
    Something that I have been working at for 25 years is how to create an electric drive. Nickola Tesla also pursued that dream from the time he was in secondary school. All of his inventions flowed out of that effort…pg

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    An illustration of the symmetry issue with dyslexia in the study mentioned above.

  53. p.g.sharrow says:

    p, g, d, q……..2, 5, 3……6, 9 all were confusing to me. BUT! after 70 years communication is the main difficulty and being blind to errors in cypher/letter placement…pg

  54. pouncer says:

    Fans of the Raspberry Pi who are also nostalgic for the very early days of home computers / game consoles (Commodore C-64, for instance) may want to check out these PI cases that resemble the classic home electronic boxes:

  55. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry if that visual is their representation of their theory they are dead wrong. I see what is there, I don’t recognize the error in what I think I see. I don’t see reversed images. It is like I can’t instinctively grasp left and right directions. If you tell me to turn right or left all there is is confusion in my head. If you point right or point left no problem.
    I do see doubled images but that is ghosting, both side by side in each eye not 1 image from each eye…pg

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    Since vision happens in the mind like color blind vision it is incredibly difficult to communicate what you see to someone who sees it differently. I can describe what I see color wise all day long but there is literally no way for me to know what the normal vision person sees I can only infer it from observation and their description.

    I think they are caught in that same quandary.

    I never see double images or ghosting I just don’t notice transpositions, my brain re-assembles the letters into their proper order in my mind even though they are transposed on the media.

    I can study a paragraph for 10 minutes on screen proof reading it hit post and then when it is re-displayed in its normal text for the web page typos I never saw will jump out at me like a flashing light, and I wonder how on earth did I not notice that – I was specifically looking for exactly that sort of error.

    In the opposite case those vision puzzles where they have a block of 300 E and one F in the block and tell people to pick the odd one out, I seldom take more than 3-5 seconds to find the odd character while folks with normal perception are completely blind to it even after minutes of study.

    I suspect like color blindness there are degrees and several variations of what we call dyslexia and it is inherently wrong to presume that only one description is right and others are wrong. Vision and pattern recognition are not at all trivial – that is why machine vision has been so difficult to develop.

    I personally think like perception of color, taste in music and all other personal sensor processes, each of us is different.

    For example I have absolutely no way of knowing if what you see as a clear blue sky is the same color I perceive when I look up at the sky. We both find it pleasing, but you might be seeing what I call deep red when you look at the sky and seeing what I call pastel blues when you look at a sunset and there is no way for to prove we see the same thing even though we are conditioned to see the two as pleasing.

  57. cdquarles says:

    Also not to be forgotten that the retina does the first bit of processing (it is an extension of the brain, after all). Neuronal processing is a filter with a threshold. Excitatory inputs and inhibitory inputs are summed via voltage across the membrane with leakage. The inputs are a function of the local sensitivity of the absorbing pigments and the protein folding changes induced by them. Once the threshold is reached, an impulse travels along the membrane. The leaked incoming ions (Sodium and calcium) get pumped out and the leaked outgoing ions get pumped in (potassium and magnesium and that takes some time) and while that happens, that section of the membrane is ‘inactive’.

  58. Larry Ledwick says:
  59. Another Ian says:


    Just sent you an email re a vague mention of liquid stone at Angkor

  60. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting paper.

    After a quick read, it’s interesting and “more right” than the IPCC, IMHO.

    Where I think it misses a beat is on the radiative focus. The troposphere exists entirely and only because radiative processes are not getting the heat transport done. Evaporation, physical transport in convection, and then condensation at the top of the troposphere are what moves the heat. Radiative processes are nothing compared to a hurricane, or even a thunderstorm.

    Radiative processes dominate in the stratosphere where radiative gasses dump heat to space. More radiative gasses, more heat LOST.

    There really needs to be at least a 2 layer analysis to capture that. Troposphere and Stratosphere. Since the two behave so differently.

    The paper does obliquely contain some of the effects, via more dense air having lower mean paths, and a nod to convection. But it’s obscured.

    In general, though, I could see it being a great benefit if only because it gets folks thinking the right way about the radiative part of the process.

    @Another Ian:

    OK, when I get my mail reading system put back together, I’ll read it!


    The big problem is that we only find bones where preservation environment is favorable. Since, for example, England is wet for hundreds of thousands of years, and, the Chile dessert is dry for just as long, a species found in both would have a much longer specimen set from Chile. One might never find a specimen in England.

    We know hominids were spread all over from Africa to the far ends of Europe and Asia. They didn’t all spontaneously evolve in place from rodents, so there was clearly primate locomotion over the whole turf. People can walk across the continent fairly quickly. Heck, the South American Possum has spread over most of North America warmer bits in not very long at all; and it neither moves fast nor has long legs…

    So my bet is that hominids where swapping genes and types pretty much over the whole turf. We just only find bones in a few favored areas.

  61. Power Grab says:

    @ Pouncer re “How odd that Star Trek in the 1960’s referred to an “impulse” drive…”

    If you remember that, do you remember the “Probe” series? It was shown on Sunday nights in our area, and the star would vary from week to week. If you watch it these days, it doesn’t feel like it’s more than 40 years old. It’s downright spooky how close they got to the high tech toys and such we enjoy these days.

  62. Larry Ledwick says:

    Not at all surprising or odd, given that Impulse is a defined concept in physics, and specific impulse is a term used in rocketry to describe how much thrust you can get from a specific rocket fuel/engine . I always interpreted it as meaning a propulsion system like a conventional rocket or ion drive engine which produces thrust by accelerating a mass (exhaust) rather than some exotic propulsion system that uses other means of producing a thrust force.

    impulse is the integral of a force, F, over the time interval, t, for which it acts.

    Total change in momentum per unit of fuel consumed.

  63. p.g.sharrow says:

    and that is why I tend to call this a warp drive although different then the Stat Trek Warp Drive…pg

  64. A C Osborn says:

    E.M.Smith says: 20 October 2017 at 10:02 pm @CDQuarles:
    “Interesting paper.
    Radiative processes dominate in the stratosphere where radiative gasses dump heat to space. More radiative gasses, more heat LOST.”
    This is confirmed by NASA, at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting starting at about 13 minutes on this Video

    The whole video is quite interesting.

  65. Larry Ledwick says:

    Here comes Skynet!

    Maybe not that extreme but this is either a great development of a really scary thing if it represents real ability for a machine to “self teach” solutions to complex problems.

  66. jim2 says:

    Pressure dictates if CO2 radiates rather than transfer energy to other molecules. If the pressure is low enough, the time of flight increases to the point that the molecule is more likely to radiate than collide.

  67. Larry Ledwick says:

    An interesting simple concept in addressing exact locations world wide.

  68. cdquarles says:

    Thanks, EM. That’s the gist I got as well. It still bothers me that they use the flat “average” power per unit area of the disc instead of integrating over the surface. Oh well. One thing they hinted at rings true to me, too. That the incoming radiation is subject to the two-way screen effect that our translucent(!) atmosphere demonstrates.

    What IR active gases should do is lower the lapse rate and not necessarily shift things. We know that quite well due to the change from -9K/km for the dry US standard atmosphere to the -6.5K/km for the saturated one.

  69. Lionell Griffith says:

    “An interesting simple concept in addressing exact locations world wide.”

    Knowing the name of where you are and where you want to go is not nearly enough. You must also have the ability to determine the path between the two points and to be able to verify that you are in fact traveling along that path. Otherwise all you have is the logical equivalent of “here” and “somewhere”. If you have a particular “somewhere” to go, then taking the path that will get you there is important. Otherwise any a random walkabout will do.

    All that the three word address convention provides is an address that may easier to remember than Latitude/Longitude or even the more traditional Country, State, City, Street Name, Street Number address convention. It also might give some comfort to those who are number phobic. However, the question of how to get from here to there remains. It gives you NO clue as to how to navigate.

    It is another example of a trillion dollar idea for which to use it, you will have to come up with the trillion dollars and do the work to make it useful. Ideas by themselves are worthless until someone figures out how to make them work in the context of the real world.

  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes it also needs a catalog lookup that turns that specific coordinate into a meaningful location.

    With Lat Long you at least have an inherent location reference built into the coordinate.

    Give me two lat long coordinates any where in the world and I can tell you the approximate relative location of the two coordinates, and with a little bit of math even approximate the distance between them.

    If you have the “APP for that” you can get the navigation sorted on a mnemonic system like he discusses but without the APP, I have no clue where sunshine,blue,mountain is, although it might explicitly describe a grid square somewhere on the earth.

    It makes people dependent on a third party application and provides no intuitive information about location.

    With Lat Long if I tell you I am at 40.233 -104.980 you can quickly tell that I am at a location somewhere in Colorado USA (if you are familiar with key lat long locations). If you tell me you are at 39.33 -102.05 I immediately know that you are south east of my location and with a bit of math can determine you are some 54 nautical miles south (62.1 statute miles) and about 175 nautical miles (201 statute miles) east of my location. (one degree of Lat Long in mid latitudes is approximately 60 nautical miles).

    Likewise UTM grids give you those relative distances directly in meters/kilometers.

    What he has done is created a market for a proprietary location specification grid scheme and the tools to make use of it.

    That said, if his tables are publicly available you could create lookup cross references for that 3 word reference and convert it into standard location systems that give more direct information.
    Or in each location you could prepare a grid map where you can cross reference his mnemonic references to a map.

    It does show the advantage of using higher base numbers (alpha words are essentially a base 26 number system in the US alphabet).

    If you used numbers 0-9, upper case and lower case letters you have a base 62 number system.
    with 5 of those characters you could code every 12 meter square on earth, but you would still have the problem of looking up the actual physical location that corresponds with that mnemonic location reference.

  71. cdquarles says:

    Check this one out: I am linking to Pat Frank’s post on WUWT. He links a 15MB paper and supplemental information submission that has been rejected six times, if I am remembering correctly. I have not read that paper yet. I did download it. He uses a paid hosting site that my adblocker doesn’t like. You can still get the paper at no charge.

  72. llanfar says:

    On my yearly read list is this article – he’s got 12 more years before his prediction fails…

    The Coming Technological Singularity, © 1993 by Vernor Vinge

  73. Another Ian says:


    Less healthy!

    “FDA Moves to Revoke Claim About Soy and Heart Health”

    Link at

  74. David A says:

    Vitamin D relationship to Vitamin B-12 and sleep disorders, a healthy gut and hibernating animals…

  75. Larry Ledwick says:

    Very interesting item there David on Vit D and its relation to quality sleep!

    Working night shifts most of my life I have noticed a relationship with sun exposure and mood/energy level. I have to make a conscious effort to get out in the sun starting about this time of year and sleep much better if get out in the sun.

  76. jim2 says:

    Larry, have you tried something like this? There are a lot of models out there …$478$

  77. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have been using light management for about 45 years, long before there were specialty products of that type. Natural spectrum lights help, but they are not a substitute for real sun exposure. The current phobia against sun exposure will show up in the years to come as an epidemic of all sorts of related problems due to the secondary effects of not getting adequate sun exposure.

  78. David A says:

    Thanks Larry. Yes I found her writing and research interesting. Apparently ( from another story) she did a lot of research on hibernating bears.

    My wife has neurologist diagnosed fibromyalgia, and sleep, or the lack there of, is the largest problem, greatly exasperating all the other symptoms. So we are hopeful this will help.

  79. As regards sleep, worth reading which I found interesting. Seems there are medicines in the works both to make people sleep better and to stop them sleeping at inconvenient times.

  80. Another Ian says:


    I’ll post Harry R’s “Declaration” when it comes up.

  81. Larry Ledwick says:


    I like the answer to that I saw on twitter:
    Diversity Lottery is affirmative action for terrorists.

  82. Larry Ledwick says:

    US report finds climate change 90% manmade, contradicting Trump officials

    Major report by government agencies goes against senior members of Trump administration and finds evidence of global warming stronger than ever.

    A comprehensive review by 13 US federal agencies concludes that evidence of global warming is stronger than ever and that more than 90% of it has been caused by humans.

    The conclusion contradicts a favorite talking point of senior members of the Trump administration.
    From Miami to Shanghai: 3C of warming will leave world cities below sea level
    Read more

    A 477-page report released on Friday said it was “extremely likely” – meaning with 95 to 100% certainty – that global warming is manmade, mostly from carbon dioxide through the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

    I agree without humans fabricating the manipulated data, and building flawed models that they confuse with data, global warming would not be an issue.

  83. Larry Ledwick says:

    That 8″ sea level rise in 117 years amounts to 1.7 mm per year average.
    Hardly a catastrophic rate of rise, and has long been acknowledged as consistent with post ice age recovery. At that rate sea level would take 11,000 years to raise 62.7 ft.
    We know that the true sea level rise over the last 11,000 years is closer to several hundred feet – so I am not worried.

  84. Another Ian says:

    Larry Ledwick says:
    3 November 2017 at 10:35 pm

    “US report finds climate change 90% manmade, contradicting Trump officials”


    “Man-made data tampering is responsible for virtually all imaginary global warming since 1950.”


  85. Larry Ledwick says:

    Meanwhile the political landscape in the middle east is rapidly changing as new leaders try to clean up their nest too. It would be interesting to know how much inter-connection there is between this and the Trump administration efforts to put a lid on massive political corruption here.

  86. jim2 says:

    I wonder if Billary are feeling warm yet?

    “The FBI has begun turning over to Senate investigators hundreds of pages of memos regarding the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, sources told The Hill.

    The sources said the Justice Department notified the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday and the FBI began transmitting memos soon after to assist Congress in its review of former Director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case. ”

  87. E.M.Smith says:


    Not yet. So far it is still in the ice melting stage….

  88. Larry Ledwick says:

    Holy crap if this is true Face book is even more evil than I thought.
    Is facebook listening to your conversations that your phone can hear?

  89. jim2 says:

    @Larry Ledwick says:

    Not mine, I don’t have a smart phone and don’t use Facebook in the first place. People really are morons it seems.

  90. Larry Ledwick says:

    A short simple video regarding the manipulation of the temperature record to sell global warming.
    bogus climate data video

  91. p.g.sharrow says:

    Hard drive tests:
    My grandson brought this to my attention, 4T Seagate looks really poor …pg

  92. Larry Ledwick says:

    The drive days on those particular drives are so low the numbers are not really reliable, they recommend not considering less than 50,000 drive days as statistically significant and just a few failures can really skew the numbers.

    That said those really huge drives are not high on my list because they take so long to backup and you lose so much data if they die. I don’t use anything larger than 2TB right now.

  93. Larry Ledwick says:

    Not my favorite web source, but it was linked to by drudge.

    Wikileaks apparently is publishing CIA hack source code. This may force major software and hardware vendors to put patches in that they have resisted doing in the past. Might even end up ending built in root kits in the hardware.

    Let’s hope the outcome is the patch route rather than 100,000 hackers having nation state class hacking tools.

    The bad news of course is it will kill a lot of intelligence data sources currently being taped to do legitimate cyber intelligence.

  94. E.M.Smith says:


    Your choice is to know you have your pants down and are tying your shoelaces, or to not know. I’d rather know and take action to pull my pants up, than to depend on those around me not to notice. (Especially as I live near San Francisco in Silly Con Valley ;-)

    Folks always have the choice of unplugging that little internet wire from their computer, after all…

  95. p.g.sharrow says:

    One thing you can depend on is that the independent hackers and crackers will be 2 steps ahead of any bunch of bureaucrats. I’d rather have the hackers on my side. You can never be sure about the bureaucrats working for or against you.
    I’m not sure that government cyber intelligence might be a contradiction of terms as they seem to be poor at it. Gathering data is the easy part, intelligence is the the part they find hard to grasp and their security of the data is a really bad joke. It almost appears that poor security is a feature…pg

  96. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm looks like we are now entering and era where the margin players are starting to play one digital currency against another (food fight!).

    Will this lead to a group crypto currencies which hold each in line as their value seeks a median and properly recognizes strengths and weaknesses of each currency or will this lead to uncontrollable volatility that makes digital currencies highly risky for protection of wealth and too unstable for reliable use as currency?

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